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Measuring Successful Scholarship Of Application

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Measuring Success of Graduate Program Components

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.869.1 - 14.869.5



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Paper Authors

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Phillip Sanger Western Carolina University

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Ken Burbank Western Carolina University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Measuring Successful Scholarship of Application


Western Carolina University has adapted its definition of scholarship to now include the scholarship of application. As initially proposed by Boyer, the scholarship of application must be an application of disciplinary expertise with results that can be shared with and/or evaluated by peers. When theory and practice come together, then engagement becomes scholarly. For universities concerned with the application of engineering and technology for the economic development of their communities, this is a critical form of activity for the faculty. For a uniform tenure and promotion process, a method of peer review is needed to validate this area of scholarship.

While it is great that faculty and students are engaged with improving the lives of the people in their region, it is important to distinguish the scholarship of application from community service or service learning. One widespread view of scholarship is that it requires dissemination of the results. When working with industry, dissemination of proprietary technical results is not possible. However, incorporation of such technical results in a manufacturing setting certainly has involved a comprehensive peer review. Can the economic advantage of job creation be sufficient proof of scholarly achievement?

Comprehensive universities now have major roles in the economic vitality of their regions. As the scholarship of application becomes an accepted and desirable form of scholarship for tenure- track faculty, uniform measures of success are necessary.


This paper seeks to develop a rationale for the scholarship of application within the context of engagement for the purposes of economic development. The issues that will be explored are: 1) Why is it important for faculty to be engaged with the community at large and to what purpose? 2) If it is accepted that engagement is important, how does it fit in the metrics by which tenure track faculty are measured and rewarded, namely scholarship, service and instruction? 3) In scholarship of application as defined by Boyer and focused on economic development, how should the needs for peer review and broad dissemination be met? 4) What peer review options are available beside the traditional publication in journals? 5) How could dissemination be evaluated particularly in the context of proprietary information? The opinions of this paper are not meant as definitive answers to these probing questions but rather are intended to spur discussion within the academic community and explore solutions.

University Engagement

In today’s global economy, all possible resources at the country’s disposal need to be applied to stimulating the economy and bettering the lives of people. The academic community is one of

Sanger, P., & Burbank, K. (2009, June), Measuring Successful Scholarship Of Application Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5053

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